It probably has something to do with being sick for the past two weeks, but I have been scouring the internet and my cookbook collection for new soup recipes. Bonus goes to anything that I can make in large batches and freeze half of for later. Yes, my cold that started just before the holidays has overstayed it's welcome, and now I am looking for some good hot soups to help me mend.
The growing season around here is coming to a close and though our leek patch has already been picked through, there are a surprising amount of leeks still out there in the ground. I love using leeks in pasta as well as soups, so an Irish Leek and Potato Soup sounded perfect. This recipe is simple and utilizes some staples in Ireland, as well as around the British Isles, with cold tolerant Winter vegetables like leeks and potatoes. I also used Irish butter, which is from grass-fed cattle and has a superior flavor, and it really adds to the taste.
This soup is creamy and thick without the need for dairy. How? I puree up half of the soup and leave the other half so I still have some chunks of potato, onion and leek. Then it is topped with a little crisp bacon.
The leeks were already picked through earlier in the season. These thinner leeks still make for an amazing soup and I have an abundance of them handy.
Now, leeks love butter, so I started out my soup by sauteing the diced onion and diced and cleaned leeks in some good Irish butter. If you can find it, it is so worth the extra money to get the creamy, rich butter.
Once softened, I added in the diced potatoes and chicken stock. Then it simmers until the potatoes are softened.
Then put half in your blender and puree. Add it back to the soup pot and you have a thickening agent that doesn't need heavy cream, flour or milk. This is the same way I make our corn chowder.
Then top your bowl of soup with a little crumbled bacon and you are good to go. Prepare to be warmed up from the inside out.
Has anyone else being feeling a little "soup-crazy" with the colder weather? Do you have a good leek soup recipe you enjoy?
Irish Leek and Potato Soup
You Will Need:
4 Tbsp. Irish butter (like Kerrigold)
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 c. leeks, sliced and cleaned
4 c. russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 c. chicken stock
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper
bacon, cooked and crumbled for topping soup bowls
In a large soup post, melt butter and add the diced onions and sliced leeks. Top with a pinch of salt and heat them on low for about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and put the lid back on for 5 minutes. Then stir in the stock, salt and pepper. Let the soup come up to a simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Pour half of the potatoes and broth into a blender. Pulse up till smooth and then return to the soup pot. Stir and serve immediately topped with bacon.
This soup also freezes well. I suggest pureeing up any soup you wish to freeze, since potatoes don't freeze well. To serve just thaw and add steamed or boiled cubed potato and top with bacon. I am in the process of restocking my chest freezer so meals like this I double so we can put away 2 meals and enjoy the soup for a dinner and lunch the following day.
What is your favorite leek recipe?